In May, GE’s Power Services and Ansaldo Energia separately completed initial validation of two gas turbines designed for high efficiency and flexibility: the 9EMax and the GT36. GE also announced first fire of an advanced F-class gas turbine.

GE Puts 9E Upgrade on the Market. GE Power on May 4 said it completed initial validation of its 9EMax gas turbine upgrade and has made the solution commercially available to 9E gas turbine customers. The new four-stage 9E gas turbine can operate at partial loads, making it ideal for power producers looking to add renewables to their power mix, GE said. It also includes several digital solutions to improve operational reliability, improve combustion operations, and manage emissions. The solution increases turbine output to up to 145 MW in simple-cycle operation and up to 210 MW in combined-cycle operation. It includes a “flange-to-flange” solution to revitalize mature plants and can boost efficiency about 4% with respect to the previous 9E.03 turbine module.

GE Power’s effort to upgrade the 9E platform, one of its most popular 50-Hz turbines, was based on consultation with 11 customers that expressed a variety of desires. Some asked for a turbine with more generation power, some wanted efficiency, and others wanted a model that could be directly swapped out for the earlier turbine module, the 9E.03. GE noted that development of the 9EMax, which is part of its “Fleet360*” platform of total plant solutions, was completed by the “concurrent engineering” (Figure 5) of a team of 300 employees around the world, including engineers in the U.S., Poland, India, and France, ultimately reducing time to complete the new turbine development project from four years to three years.

Figure 5_GE9EMax-Manufacturing-Facility
5. Company crowdsourcing. Development of the 9EMax gas turbine took just three years under GE’s FastWork process, where engineering groups around the world worked on upgrade goals in parallel, rather than waiting on one another to complete each stage, GE’s Power Services said. The global nature of GE’s team also allowed them to work around the clock, passing jobs from one time zone to the next. Courtesy: GE Power/GE Reports 

The validation test took place at an installed unit at an unnamed utility customer’s site in Asia. “We completed the ‘first fire’ milestone with the unit successfully reaching full speed at no load, and it proved to deliver significantly more power and efficiency compared to current 9E gas turbine operations,” said Eric Gray, general manager of Gas Plant Solutions for GE’s Power Services.

First Fire for a New F-Class Model.GE on May 8 also celebrated first fire of a 60-Hz 6F.01 gas turbine at the Huaneng Guilin Distributed Energy Project in the city of Guilin, Guangxi province, China. The project owned by China Huaneng Group features an innovative “combined cooling, heating, and power” configuration that will be fueled by natural gas upon completion. The plant uses three 6F.01 gas turbine units, which can achieve a fuel efficiency of 81.15% and a total installed capacity of 210 MW, GE said.

GE added that the turbines can deliver a rapid startup, synchronizing to grid within as little as eight minutes, achieving to full load in less than 30 minutes. Gas distribution energy projects are also capable of generating peak power on demand, allowing for shifting loads for gas and power supply, it said.

Ansaldo Marks Milestone for GT26. On May 5, Ansaldo Energia, a company 45% owned by the Italian state-owned Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Group and 40% by Shanghai Electric, announced it had successfully completed the first phase of a comprehensive validation program of its GT36 gas turbine at the Birr Test Power Plant in Switzerland. Power from the full-scale simple cycle power plant completed in 2016 is dispatched to the Swiss power grid.

Ansaldo said the tests, which included stress testing of the two stages of the sequential combustion system, part- and full-load mapping, transient operation, and performance testing, fully confirm the “high performance, low emissions over the entire load range, and resulting very wide operation window of this engine.” The test results reported for the GT36-S6 (60-Hz rating) confirmed power output above 340 MW at 41% efficiency, Ansaldo said. “In combined cycle this corresponds to performance exceeding 500 MW at 61.3% net efficiency in ISO conditions and 720 MW at 61.5% efficiency for the GT36-S5 (the 50-Hz scaled version),” it said (Figure 6).

Figure 6_GT36-S6_Anasaldo
6. A new turbine is born. Ansaldo Energia in May completed initial validation for its GT36 gas turbine at a test plant in Switzerland. This rendering shows the GT36-S5, a 50-Hz scaled version. Courtesy: Anasaldo 

Sonal Patel is a POWER associate editor